Dallas Entrusted its $11 Million Horse Park to a Man Accused of Mistreating Horses

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City of McKinney
One of the horses at Storybook Ranch, circa November 2011.
Sitting on 19 acres of Collin County pastureland, Storybook Ranch is part nonprofit, part for-profit kids camp and dude ranch, with horseback riding, a petting zoo, and a faux-Western saloon -- a place where exurbanites can indulge in their nostalgia for a simpler time. And that's the feel the city of Dallas was going for when it enlisted River Ranch Educational Charities, Storybook's nonprofit arm, to co-run the $11 million Texas Horse Park, the latest jewel in the Trinity River Corridor Project crown.

The city was also desperate: It needed to justify pouring millions of dollars into a project that, though approved by voters as part of the grab bag of pricey baubles in the 1998 Trinity River Corridor Project bond package, no one outside a couple southern Dallas council members and a handful of their constituents seemed to care much about. Had they cared, the Texas Horse Park wouldn't have fallen so woefully short of its $15 million fundraising goal.

To some, this might have suggested that the project should be tossed in the garbage. Instead, plans to build an elite, world-class equestrian center were scaled back, and the park was reimagined as a therapy center for special-needs kids that would also offer trail rides, horse-riding lessons and summer camps to the general public.

Under the deal, the city lets River Ranch use the land rent-free for the next 20 years. In exchange, the nonprofit will build trails, handle programming and maintain the property. (A separate nonprofit, Equest, handles the therapy). The pictures of disabled children riding horses, which figure prominently in presentations to the City Council, are a bonus.

All of that requires horses, of course, which River Ranch will provide and care for. What the city of Dallas didn't know when it was negotiating the deal was that Storybook Ranch and its president, Harris Wayne Kirk Jr., was the subject of an ongoing animal cruelty investigation in Collin County. And while the charges against him were eventually dropped, animal control officers were concerned enough about Kirk's care for one sick horse that they asked a judge to let them take it away -- and the judge agreed.

*****

WayneKirk.jpg
Wayne Kirk, via Twitter
Dr. Bill Carter, a former USDA veterinarian, came to Storybook in spite of, not because of, the nostalgia trip. After more than a decade of whiling away his retirement playing golf and sitting around the house, he was ready to get to work again. He got in touch with Kirk, who at the time was keeping a couple of dozen horses at Storybook -- plus a few goats, sheep, hogs, and chickens -- and signed on as a volunteer.

It took Carter all of a day to figure out that Storybook's picturesque facade was about as authentic as the faux-Western town. His first stop was the petting zoo.

"It was just a mess," he recalls. "There was feces out there. Nobody ever bothered to clean it up."

Nobody had bothered to provide the animals with basic veterinary care, either. The goats -- the ones the kids most loved to hug on -- were infested with lice, which transfers easily to human hair, and intestinal parasites, which are harder to transfer but nevertheless an indication of neglect. Carter loused and dewormed the petting zoo. Then he turned his attention to the horses.

There, too, he found warning signs. None had been given a Coggins test, which detects the presence of a deadly disease called equine infectious anemia and is required by state law before they can participate in public events, as Storybook's horses frequently do. They also hadn't been vaccinated in years.

Luckily, the horses were disease-free, and after vaccinating them in March 2011, Carter deemed them to be in good shape. But according to investigators, their condition would deteriorate rapidly in coming months.

*****

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The summer of 2011 was a brutal one, even by Texas standards. That year, Dallas saw a record 71 days of 100 degrees or higher temperatures. The drought was equally merciless. For urban dwellers, this meant unsightly sweat stains and higher-than-average A/C bills. For ranchers trying to eke a living off the land, it meant devastation.

The dry spell that year scorched pastures and obliterated the hay crop. Demand for animal feed skyrocketed, as did prices. Those who could afford to sometimes trucked in bales from out of state. Those who couldn't sold off all or parts of their herds.

Storybook Ranch was lucky in that regard. Kirk had a shed full of round alfalfa bales, each maybe half a ton, which he kept on an adjacent property. The thing was, he never used it.

Carter still can't understand why. A significant portion of Storybook's horses were what Carter calls "hard keepers." Once their food starts running short, they "really start deteriorating fast," especially when they're put through a daily regimen of trail rides and horseback riding lessons.

"In summertime these horses were working for two, three hours a day," Carter says. "Horses that work that much, they have to have ... some type of concentrate grain or pelleted feed of some type that give their body the needed nutrients."

It didn't take a veterinarian to see this. The horses had gnawed their small pasture bare. Their ribs and hip bones protruded. Carter kept nagging Kirk but was invariably brushed off.

"When I was getting talking to him about nutrition," Carter recalls, "he wanted to talk about he had alfalfa -- but he wasn't feeding them any alfalfa!"

It got so bad that a couple of Kirk's employees took to buying food for the horses out of their own pockets. They couldn't afford to feed them all, so they focused on the ones who were faring the worst. Carter credits those efforts with saving the animals.

River Ranch officials, not surprisingly, tell a different story. "There's always been hay on that ranch," Vanessa Fry, River Ranch's vice president, tells Unfair Park.

"When somebody's got a lot going on for them like Wayne does, he's always gonna have a target on his back," Fry says. "They're going to try to find any way possible to make him look bad." She calls the story a "vendetta."

According to Kirk and Fry, the animal abuse allegations were dreamed up by a disgruntled former events coordinator, a well-intentioned but naive woman named Karla Santiago. They say the bad blood started over Kirk's decision to thin the goats in his petting zoo by selling about half at a livestock auction, and by his ongoing refusal to allow her to keep goats inside the Storybook office.

"She's Hispanic; she ate goats when she was little; she loves goats," Kirk says. "She has three living at home today, inside the house."

They say Santiago, who declined to be interviewed for this story, also loves horses and had begun keeping two of her own to the property, but she was a novice. She didn't understand much about the animals or horse-owner etiquette, which led to more problems. And they claim Carter, the veterinarian, was just following Santiago's lead.

"Dr. Bill attached himself to Karla almost in a very juvenile kind of way, to the point where he did everything she told him to do," Fry says. "I'd find him and Karla inside the kitchen at the ranch -- inside the kitchen where we make food!" She likens their antics to reality TV show.

Whatever their antics, the animal control officer who soon arrived was equally troubled. That happened in November 2011, when the city of McKinney's animal control department first received reports of animal abuse. Kirk suspects Santiago made the call. Records say the city was first contacted by the SPCA, which had received an anonymous tip. Regardless, Officer De St. Aubin visited the property on November 21 and conducted an inspection.

"I found most of the animals to be underweight and no hay provided for these animals," he wrote. An employee named Tammy Lochasio told him that Kirk refused to provide adequate food and other supplies for the horses. Employees made up for the shortage by digging in their own pockets, she said.

Lochasio took St. Aubin out to an adjacent property where several other horses were being kept. These were in noticeably poorer condition than the first bunch. "I found the majority of them to be underweight and some to be emaciated," St. Aubin wrote.

One of the animals, a dun-and-white male paint male horse, was in particularly bad shape. It was "very thin and had an abnormally swollen and distended penis."

None of the employees knew the source of the swelling, according to the report, nor did Kirk, who pulled up as St. Aubin was leaving. St. Aubin told him that the horses needed hay and that the one with the swollen penis needed to be seen by a vet. Kirk agreed and promised to have his staff veterinarian give St. Aubin a call later in the day, and to put some feed out for the horses.

St. Aubin visited the next morning and "found conditions to be the same," with no hay in sight. The only difference was that a dozen of the most severely undernourished horses from the day before were gone, shipped off to Kirk's ranch in West Texas. He conducted another followup the next morning. The horses now had plenty to eat, several bales of hay having been brought to the property the previous day.

A few days later, a Storybook employee called St. Aubin to tell him that the horse with the swollen penis hadn't been taken to West Texas as he had assumed. He was still on the property, confined to a small stall in the barn. And he apparently hadn't been treated by Kirk's veterinarian, whose existence St. Aubin had begun to doubt.

"The condition of the horse had deteriorated markedly," St. Aubin would write in an affidavit. It had yet to receive veterinary care, and "his penis was significantly more swollen."

Kirk tells Unfair Park that the horse in question was a recent rescue who had not yet been socialized with Storybook's other horses. When Santiago, acting against instructions, let him into the main pasture, a dozen or so of the others ganged up on him. In the ensuing scrum, the animal was kicked in the scrotum, hence the swelling, Kirk says.

But a local veterinarian to whom St. Aubin showed pictures disagreed. He attributed the swelling to malnutrition and said that it needed immediate care.

Kirk also claims that the horse was receiving daily checkups by his staff vet. St. Aubin saw no evidence of this, though. So the next day, the city of McKinney obtained a warrant to seize the animal. A judge awarded it permanent custody following a hearing at which Santiago testified. According to Carter, she was promptly fired. Fry claims Santiago quit after being caught stealing six goats on the eve of the hearing.

Collin County prosecutors filed animal cruelty charges the next month, but they were later dropped for reasons that are unclear. St. Aubin declined to be interviewed for this story. Prosecutors didn't return a call seeking comment.

The city of Dallas says it wasn't aware of the allegations when it signed its deal with Kirk, even though the animal cruelty charge was still pending in Collin County when negotiations began.

"At no time did anyone from River Ranch mention or disclose the incident in question, and the incident did not come up in the due diligence search conducted by city staff," assistant city manager Jill Jordan wrote in a memo to the City Council in response to Unfair Park's inquiries. "Staff's research focused primarily on the financial aspects of the charity as is common whenever the city enters into a long term contract with another organization."

Jordan said the city would investigate. But to Kirk, the case is closed: Dismissal of criminal charges is proof of his innocence.

"I care about the kids, and I care about these horses," he says. "I'm not a hypochondriac when it comes to animals, but I do take care of my animals."

Carter, the veterinarian, came away with the opposite impression.

"Wayne's a liar and a cheat and just outright not a good individual."

Either way, he's holding the keys to Dallas' horse park.

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82 comments
don.franklin1930
don.franklin1930

This is a He Said She Said situation. Probably a bit of true hidden in all the ramblings.

Here are the facts as I see them that don't relate directly to animal abuse. Animal abuse can be fixed and everyone comes out ahead. The problem is why it had to be fixed in the first place.

Wayne Kirk is a very wealthy and successful entrepreneur. Financial Advisor to the National Football League Association and the Dallas Cowboys. Oil and Gas broker ( recently revoked ). Owns a big ranch out in West Texas and dabbles in wind farms. He works with Robert Kiyosaki of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and travels the world giving financial advice.

Seems like a guy like this could handle employees and volunteers. If you have a bunch of workers you can't control, you invite them to find other jobs, open the door, and watch them drive off into the sunset never to be seen or heard of again.

This whole mess is a matter of management or lack thereof. The big question will be will this style of management succeed at the Texas Horse Ranch?

What concerns me is how this fellow will be able to run both Storybook Ranch and the Texas Horse Ranch, his financial empire, and his ranch out West.

I'm betting Storybook will close very soon and the whole shebang will move south to greener pastures in one of the highest crime areas in Dallas.

Or if Storybook stays open, how does this guy run two operations and his empire? He already had to personally lend six figures to River Ranch to hire his personal business Storybook Farm to keep open. When the President of a non-profit loans money to his nonprofit to hire his personal business that actually operates the same nonprofit, it is rather obvious it is a financial failure.

Bottom line, the business model does not add up. When you have to lend your own nonprofit almost a million dollars to stay open, that means the business plan is flawed. Or the business plan does not exist and the City ignored that when they approved Kirk to run the Texas Horse Park.

The animal abuse story is probably over.

The financial story is now front and center. There is no He Said She Said when it comes to the nuts and bolts of bookkeeping or lack thereof.



Tellthetruth
Tellthetruth

Hey everybody the Dallas Morning News did a great story!  Look online or buy a Sunday Edition!  Check out how many have passed the story on facebook! This is exactly what needs to happen! Thank you all for your support of getting Wayne Kirk and Vanessa Fry away from any charitable cause. 

Pandalou89
Pandalou89

Alright, you all are a bunch of freaking lunatics. The people commenting on this article continually are the people that were actually employed by Wayne Kirk. So in essence this is just a useless catfight. The side that is for Wayne Kirk are the people not fired/banned from the property and the people against are the ones that left on bad terms. Alright, awesome, now that that is all settled lets skip over all the dramatics and personal hurt feelings and lets get down to the facts. I'm only typing these responses because me calling all of you idiots and morons without something to back it up makes me a hypocrite.

I apologize if my comment is a bit off I am going through each message to address them as best I can manage seeing as how most of it is a lot of whining and complaining.

If someone were to go out to Storybook now and not when they worked there a year ago or however long ago we want to pretend they were there they would actually see sufficient hay bales for all of the animals. Their hooves are trimmed on a regular 6-10 week basis preferring 8 weeks but of course farrier scheduling problems do happen. If the hooves are not trimmed the horse manager goes in to a tizzy about it. They are grained every single morning with 12% sweet feed and steam rolled oats. Every single one of the horses are at a good weight and are taken very good care of. They actually do not have thrush but I appreciate the ignorant comment anyways as it shows you are going off of nothing but your imagination.

As for the employees feeding the horses themselves I'd like to set something straight. Tammy Locashio fed her own horse Tank and a ranch owned horse named Lynx special food because she favored him over the others. She had worked with him for years. Everyone did it at one point when they found a horse they "clicked" with more than the others. The staff also would go out and buy pretty halters, lead ropes, saddle pads, bell boots, and other various tack to go on their "Personal Horse" because they WANTED to. The horses were not starving the girls just liked the idea of having their own horses and wanted to buy them special tack, different feed, and they also even washed them more, braided their tails, and omg gave em treats. The girls get attached to a horse and this is what apparently naturally follows. The horse manager herself even goes and buys special halters for each of the horses she enjoys riding. Would anyone like to write another article about how terrible that is? No?

The sorrel mare pictured was donated because she was being starved. There is photographic proof of her amazing condition now after having been with SBR. The Horse Manager at the time who happened to be Locashio herself didn't even care enough to ask or know which horses were coming or going. She did not even know who this horse was nor did she care she just ran her mouth without any actual knowledge about the situation. After she left no horse set one hoof on or off SBR property without it being documented by the new manager who actually cares about the horses.

and to @Tellthetruth a hunter does not want to watch an animal die. They actually shoot it so that it dies very quickly because while you may like to have its head mounted on your wall and eat its meat you don't actually want it to suffer, but thanks PETA. And no I am not the "same lady" I'm actually my own person -le gasp!-

@DrBradOwens Actually Doc Anderson is a very real licensed vet. Since everyone else seems to be such a fan of googling everything maybe you'd also like to give it a try?

@kohlhawke I would love for you to show me a horse that would be considered TRUELY safe for a person that has never ridden before. As far as I know a horse weighs considerably more than a rider and also has its own brain and can think for itself. No matter how "broke" a horse is it will NEVER be 100% completely safe for anybody. A person that has horses would of course know this. That is why the staff at SBR only use the horses that can come as close to that 100% as possible for the new riders. You would know this of course if you had actually been there, or perhaps you were an employee that was, ahem, let go because you were infact the one putting beginners on the "unsafe" horses.

I would also like to point out that none of what any of you are saying even matters. The city will vote with or without your ridiculous comments. All you are doing is exercising your fingers and getting all worked up about nothing. Oh, and before you throw a fit TellTheTruth, no I do not think abusing animals is nothing. I know and understand that animal abuse is wrong and I am 100% against it.

I told y'all once and I'm going to tell y'all again why don't you instead of complaining and whining behind your monitors and keyboards actually come out to Storybook and take a look for yourselves at how the horses are doing? Oh, wait that's right, you guys got fired and you're banned from property because all you do is cause trouble and drama that is not needed.

Exhibit A = Your behavior at work.
Exhibit B = These comments.

Please for the love of all that is good in the world shut up and go cause drama somewhere else, or perhaps pick up a hobby. I hear knitting is becoming popular again. Write a blog maybe since you all seem so fond of typing and I'm sure everyone would love to hear about your time you spent playing with goats, or the ducks you keep in your house, or perhaps the crazy "trips" you take while at work because you can't keep your drugs at home.

I do find it rather entertaining that no amount of research was put in to this article or any of the comments, and that when someone does bring up facts the posts are "accidentally" deleted lets see how long mine gets to stay!

chantzb33
chantzb33

There was nothing to be done because none of this went on! And in your dumb explanation it says due to parasite infestation. You can feed horses all day but if they have parasites it's not going to get better until the medicine takes hold and you still run the risk of losing the horse.I'll see this one last time. It was brought to us in this condition it did not develop this over time under our care. Why don't you stop googling stuff and speak from real life experiences. I'm pretty sure if you google is Bigfoot real? You would find pictures and proof which we all know are faked much like this story and your accusations. I hope I never find out who you are.

chantzb33
chantzb33

That is not true and no there wasn't a dozen more horses starved. Where do you get the stories? Oooo Karla do you enjoy lying? We know it's you or Tammy. Get over it Karla you were FIRED! Maybe you shouldn't steal!

chantzb33
chantzb33

Horses penis's do not enlarge due to starvation. The horse was kicked. Horses have a pecking order and when a new horse is introduced the other horses will go after it. I'm speaking of the mare in the pictures in the above article. What's confusing is to show pictures of one horse and bring up another. 1 out of 144 horses was removed! All charges have been dropped! People who have no experience with animals make there own assumption on how they should look. After the babies are born we get calls all day about how there are dead baby horses in the field, when in fact they are just laying down. People saw the horse in bad shape and ASSUMED it was because of storybook not feeding properly! When the truth is that it was donated in that condition. I'm glad there are people who care about animals but you people are making false statements and hurting people cause your upset. No one wins when things are handled like this. But 1 thing I will guarantee is that Storybook will not be shit down by you bullies or anyone else for that matter!

chantzb33
chantzb33

The horse locashio is referring to is her own horse. Wayne does not provide feed for staff horses other than hay.

That being said if you want your horse on a special feed you go buy it. Tammy is also not qualified to be diagnosing horses

chantzb33
chantzb33

Tell the truth!!! Who are you? Unless your willing to go out there and see for yourself shut your mouth!

Concernedanimallover
Concernedanimallover

As a Parent and a Volunteer from time to time at Storybook ranch, I can attest that several things didn't seem right in the care and maintenance of the animals, or even some of the employees for that matter. I had spoken to several "employees" through my workings with Storybook ranch, and to hear that they were digging into their own personal funds to provide food for several horses was beyond astonishing to me, to say the least. Also what was of great concern was the fact that I was being told several off colored remarks made to the teenage young ladies about their attire. I dismissed that thinking that kids make up things. UNTIL, One weekend when my family was there, I had heard several sexual remarks made by the older gentlemen employed by Wayne Kirk. That was the last time any member of my family or myself has ever or will ever set foot on that property again. If that organization is not careful, Animal neglect will be the least of their worries.

chantzb33
chantzb33

P.s. And I say this only because I've put my blood, sweat, and tears into that place but Mr.

Nicholson don't let me see you in public!! Yes that is 100% a threat! I'm from Texas and we don't like liars around here!

chantzb33
chantzb33

And my first comment was deleted! Most likely because

No one wants the truth out there!

chantzb33
chantzb33

1st off why do the last 3 comments have brand new emails as of last week? Looks pretty shady!!! There is not one true statement in This article except all charges have been dropped. Would they drop the charges if he was guilty?!?! I know exactly who is saying these comments and you two should be ashamed of yourselves!! The horse pictured above was donated to the ranch in that condition because the owners could not afford to take care of it. If you don't believe me I have 6 pics of her now fat and happy! This so

Called Dr. Bill was 90 years old and barely knew what day it was. Even admitting that he was used to smaller animals and didn't have much experience with equine. I have been training horses professionally for a decade and been around them my entire life and these horses are far from abused. This IS a nonprofit organization and Wayne KIrk takes his own money and puts it towards the ranch to keep it going because that's what his heart tells him to do for the kids! You people have no idea what it takes to care for horses and how much they cost! The vet bills alone are

More than they make in a year! And as for the writer of this article, I hope you got a nice little incentive to lie about Wayne Kirk and the ranch! My name is Chantz Burleson and I will be happy to take anyone out to the ranch any day of the week and show you how great the ranch is and what it does not only for the kids but ANYONE who comes

Out there! It's a beautiful place with beautiful people! It's scary how people can just lie and bad mouth with no sort of idea what's really going on!!! You people need a moral

Upgrading!

kohlhawke
kohlhawke

I have seen these exact conditions! I have witnessed poor conditions, overgrown hooves, volunteers buying feed and paying for vet care. Not the owners! Also unsafe horses being used for small children who have never ridden. The worst is the untrained teenagers running trail rides. (Nothing against the poor teens! this is a management issue) I was disgusted by what I saw! Maybe I see things differently then the public as I do own livestock and horses and spot the warning flags. I would love to see this place run by someone who treats the animals and people with respect and care. It's nice to see little snapshots of country life in the city. This place however is not depicting true farm life. Farmers care for their animals upmost as this is what keeps the lights on and the mortgage paid. I am glad some one spoke out against him, and spoke out against the lack of inspection done as to where our taxes are concerned.

DrBradOwens
DrBradOwens

Looks like Mr Kirk is posing as a fake DVM on here, defending himself. Just look at his track record, speaks volumes. He has been kicked out of every horse park in DFW for non payment. Uses the charity as a front so he can pay himself and his swinger girlfriend a handsome salary. How many kids actually get to use his ranches for free ?? Every event i have attended there, they charge a ridiculous fee to all participants. Says he has a wind turbine center in west texas, but the state has no such listing for it. I think the last line in the article sums it up best, he is just not a good person and does not have good intentions for the children. Just using this as a front to line his own pockets. 

Tellthetruth
Tellthetruth

I would bet everything that pandalou89,factual notes, animas, and howarddrust4701 are all coming from the same drunk lady that "works" there.  Yes....I looked into this place and found a lot of interesting things out....so obvious neither Vanessa Fry or Wayne Kirk show any remorse in this story.  This is why we are going to actively ensure that this story does not go away.  We have passed this story on numerous Facebook accounts, and horse sites and other news journal outlets. Please continue to message me for the latest.  Mr. Kirk you will not get to smirk and think you got away with something.... I ask every animal lover to continue sharing this story.  Thank you all for your continued support! 

 Look he enjoys letting people shoot buffalos, basically "cows" on his other properties for $3200 a pop!!!!   This is not sport hunting this is mere trophy hunting for the sport of watching an animal die slowly...This guy is an absolute horror! He is all over the internet...court cases everywhere...Take a look on the internet for yourself!  Court case after court case...  I mean to have all the money you do, and you can't buy a $14.00 bag of horse feed and $7.00 square bale? REALLY????? What the heck did you rescue them from? Food?

What a jerk!!!!

goldrush
goldrush

I worked for him at the old Frisco Horse Park location. I was told he is about 4-5 yrs behind on even filing personal taxes. What in the world is the city of Dallas thinking? Mr Kirk tells everyone that he and Jerry Jones are good buds. But we called Jerry and he said Wayne called his office asking for a loan for a west Texas wind farm. Mr Jones declined his request after doing a little research on Wayne...at least somebody looked into his background. Can't say the same for Dallas officials.

don.franklin1930
don.franklin1930

If you go to Guidestar.org, you can view the IRS 990 forms for River Ranch Educational Charities.

The 2010 filing due on May 15 2011 was date stamped March 14 2013. The 2011 filing is not reported filed yet nor is 2012 due May 15 2013.

There is a personal loan from Wayne Kirk to River Ranch Educational Charities for  USD 653,692 (dollars) in an unwritten agreement approved by the Board of Directors.

don.franklin1930
don.franklin1930

The 2010 River Ranch filing shows a book value of $150,000 for horses and $6,000 for petting zoo animals.

The 2010 filing also shows only $868 income derived by Officers and key employees of the nonprofit and there is no listing for Payroll taxes, but Other Salaries and Wages was $93,880. Could just be everyone was self employed and not subject to withholding and employee taxes.

Livestock feed and care is listed at $10,562.

goldeneyes52
goldeneyes52

How did the City of Dallas not see his arrest record and mugshot online ? Great due diligence work !! Mr Kirk was kicked out of the Frisco horse park also. This isnt even a real charity, he profits more from the charity than the kids do. Someone mentioned below that he was a financial advisor.. may want to check into that, seems as though he was terminated by his employer last month and stripped of his license.. all public info.. no opinions needed. 

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

There is something fishy going on with the comments.  Earlier today, there was a comment from someone purporting to be Dr. Anderson, with some responses beneath it.  The comment and the rest of the thread belonging to it are now gone.

Pandalou89
Pandalou89

This happened 2 years ago has anybody asked how the horses look now? Has anybody that is sitting here commenting seen them? If the sorrel in the photo was a rescue are any of you aware that rarely does a horse get rescued that is in perfect condition. Horses at the SPCA also look like this when they arrive. Nobody complains about them! Every time I go out to Storybook ranch there are 4 round bales of hay in the horses pen. Two in the pony pen and 1 in the petting zoo. There is adequate shelter for all animals and water at all times. The horses appear to be in excellent health and I have actually witnessed the horse manager checking over each horse. The horses are worked on average 2 hours a day during the week as the employees rotate the horses so the same ones are not up all day. On the weekends they will do 6 MAX. 1 hour trails though on average it is more like 3 or 4. Also being rotated out throughout the day, it should also be noted that the vast majority of these rides are walk only trails. During the summer camp times they are used for 4 hours as long as the heat index is not too high. They are hosed down in hot weather as well. They are each fed 5lbs of sweet feed and oats EVERY morning and have hay anytime they are not being used. They are given yearly coggins and vaccinations and their hooves are trimmed and kept up every ten weeks. Now I want someone to tell me what they're doing wrong because it seems like for a business with horses they're doing great.

Everyone has had to work with a disgruntled employee before and it's easy to turn a story in to something it's not especially when you only get one side of the story.

Before you talk about how bad they are go out and actually look at their horses for yourself.

animas
animas

I know that i am just a lowly "anonymous" commenter and not one of your exalted "top commenter" apparatchick-- but there are some serious problems at DO.  The shoddy work of some journalists (I think we all know who they are) is seriously detracting from the otherwise good to excellent work of others (I think we all know who they are).  I am getting a little leary of the faux "damsel in distress-bacon poisoning" stories and the "animal torturer of the week" stories.  Obviously little or no thought or reasoning is going into this brand of propangandistic  "journalism".  Where is the editor?  I am shocked  that there is a moderator.  Who knew? 

Tellthetruth
Tellthetruth

@chantzb33 Edema and anaemia may develop due to starvation and malnutrition due to parasite infestations.

Systemic or generalized edema may occur secondary to congestive heart failure or is caused by low protein levels in the blood. The latter may be associated with severe malnutrition.

I suggest you stop commenting at this point.  

Hey do this....just slow down and think about not drinking their kool aid anymore and realize

They did in fact starve these horses.

They did in fact not care for these horses

Horses were in fact placed in horrible conditions that led to their removal from storybook ranch, by a court order.

They were not properly cared for and and if you were there during this period....ask yourself why you didn't step up and do something? 

Tellthetruth
Tellthetruth

@chantzb33

Are you implying that the City of McKinney, the SPCA, the animal control officier, two of Wyane Kirks' employees, a volunteer, the judge,etc.  all just felt like lying and sticking to poor ol Kirk?  Really? Do you really think the courts would have removed the horse from Storybook if it wasn't suffering and near death from STARVATION? 

"I found most of the animals to be underweight and no hay provided for these animals," he wrote. An employee named Tammy Lochasio told him that Kirk refused to provide adequate food and other supplies for the horses. Employees made up for the shortage by digging in their own pockets, she said.

Lochasio took St. Aubin out to an adjacent property where several other horses were being kept. These were in noticeably poorer condition than the first bunch. "I found the majority of them to be underweight and some to be emaciated," St. Aubin wrote.

Regardless of the condition now, (I hope he would be smart enough not to get himself arrested for animal cruelty again), he has no business near a horse or any animal period. 

chantzb33
chantzb33

Your a liar! We know who you are! Get a life!

chantzb33
chantzb33

Tell the truth? What's your name? That would be a good truth to start with!!!

DrBradOwens
DrBradOwens

@Tellthetruth I think someone is missing a bigger story here.. How about the city of Dallas let a man who is stripped of his financial license and currently under SEC review, run their horse park !! Everyone knows he doesnt give a crap about animals, just using the charity as a front for him and his swinger girlfriend :Vanessa". The ones that are on their last breath at Story Book Ranch, he just ships them off to die in west texas at his ranch there. Instead of having them put down humanely at a vet clinic. You are correct, he is in more lawsuits on the internet than anyone i have ever heard of. He and Vanessa can twist their stories and try not to look guilty, but when their is so much smoke (14 different lawsuits) there is usually fire.. cant keep playing innocent victim with a target on his back. 

DrBradOwens
DrBradOwens

@Tellthetruth I think you are missing a bigger story here. Everyone knows Wayne is a piece of crap con artist that doesnt pay his bills or care about animals. How can the City of Dallas appoint someone that has been stripped of his financial license and is currently under SEC review. Also in countless financial lawsuits where he scammed investors out of million for a fake wind farm in west texas ? How did they not look into these things ? its all public information, just like his mugshot and picture in a snuggie in Collin County for the horse abuse incident ! His swinger girlfriend "Vanessa" has no clue about all his lawsuits or being looked into by the SEC. He keeps her selling events at the horse park to keep money rolling in. He is a very bad person and has no interest in children, just using the charity as a front due to his prior judgements by the iRS.. How can Dallas do business with a person that cant even pay their personal taxes, has multiple DUI's, arrested for animal abuse, and stripped of financial license ??


chantzb33
chantzb33

He grows his own hay nimrod!!! That's what real

Farmers do!!!!

factualnotes
factualnotes

@goldeneyes52 

Mr. "goldenspies52" your so called "facts" give me pause. I do know for a fact that Mr. Kirk did not get kicked out of Frisco Horse Park (FHP). River Ranch Educational Charities (RREC) chose to purchase Story Book Ranch as opposed to paying the $50,000.00/year lease at Hwy.121 and Coit Rd. The landowner and Mr.Kirk remain close friends to this day. RREC is in fact a Federally registered charity, 501c3, that actually does real and good things for our community. I know this because I have donated both time and money over the last 10 years. Mr. "hasnoeyes52" you sir are an idiot. 

factualnotes
factualnotes

@goldeneyes52 

Mr. "goldenspies52" your so called "facts" give me pause. I do know for a fact that Mr. Kirk did not get kicked out of Frisco Horse Park (FHP). River Ranch Educational Charities (RREC) chose to purchase Story Book Ranch as opposed to paying the $50,000.00/year lease at Hwy.121 and Coit Rd. The landowner and Mr.Kirk remain close friends to this day. RREC is in fact a Federally registered charity, 501c3, that actually does real and good things for our community. I know this because I have donated both time and money over the last 10 years. Mr. "hasnoeyes52" you sir are an idiot. 

don.franklin1930
don.franklin1930

@goldeneyes52 Good work on the Broker Check data at Finra.org. Finra shows him no longer associated with Reef Securities and "This broker is not currently registered with FINRA." Maybe the Observer can figure out what is going on here. I wonder if this has anything to do with the Consent Agreement?

gavin.cleaver
gavin.cleaver moderator

@RTGolden1 The system keeps flagging some comments as spam, for reasons I don't understand. I'm looking into it.

kohlhawke
kohlhawke

I have, and I did!! I was NOT impressed with the living conditions, quality of feed, or shelter provided! How about those overgrown hooves? And thrush from standing in fecies laden mud for days on end? Perhaps you don't know or haven learned all involved in the care of said animals.

Tellthetruth
Tellthetruth

@Pandalou89 uh yeah to bad those horses can't talk huh?  Did you miss the pictures?  You have to be in an altered state.  These horses were clearly starved and then hidden at ol boys other ranch, where they probably died.  Bet you can't take an up to date picture of this filly or that paint.  Ask the owners or (yourself) what  they(you)did with that paint horse.....  :)       BTW  I am sure they were told they would continue to be monitored...and they might want to start feeding them before they ended up in jail....like they should have been already.  How could ANY person try to defend this cruelty.  All for a good ol buck...well you suck!!!

joe.tone
joe.tone moderator

@animas The editor is right here. Let's start small: What's your beef with this particular story?

chantzb33
chantzb33

And I'll comment whenever the hell I want! Your a fool and you look stupid fighting over something the courts DROPPED the charges on! But hey you give a dumb ass a keyboard and the internet and anything can happen!

chantzb33
chantzb33

The horse was never removed from his custody 1st off!!!!' 2ndly I have pictures of how healthy the horse is now. She was dropped off to the ranch in that condition because of owner neglect! 3rdly the judge dropped the charges!!! Which they only do if your not guilty! Collin county has a 98% conviction rate. So I think they are well qualified on deciding if a person is guilty or not! The employees you speak of have stolen animals as well as other things offthe property! Dr. Bill May have broken the law providing care for animals that he isn't qualified to care for. Practicing with out a license. Why don't you man up show your face at the ranch and let me show you what really goes on?!?! But your like every other person in this country you believe what you read instead of seeing it first hand. You people

Are cowards and arguing with you is a waste of time. Charges will be pressed for defamation of character and harassment! Unfortunately for you guys the computers you use have an IP address and all your screen names come from the same one! MORONS!

Ps stop deleting my comments!!! Are you scared?

chantzb33
chantzb33

You have no business lying! I know who you are and your a liar that horse was donated in that condition! Call me a liar?! I have pictures and vet bills on said horse! She is healthy and in way better shape than she was DONATED to us. I'm not trying to act crazy. But the straight out lies are ridiculous. Collin county has a 98% conviction rate. If Wayne Kirk was guilty he would of been charged. The charges were dropped because they weren't true. Get your facts straight! You look ridiculous running your mouth about something you don't know about. And they bet dr. Bill might of committed a crime providing care for animals he wasn't qualified to provide help for. Why don't you man up tell me your name, schedule a time to come out there and let me prove you wrong?! Are you scared cause we actually know who you are and are afraid of facing the music? You should be charged with defamation of character and harassment!

Tellthetruth
Tellthetruth

@factualnotes...I know you didn't get this username from your job....lol  You are such a liar.... laughable really...

chantzb33
chantzb33

You got pictures of 1 horse!!!! You want proof

I have 6 pictures of her now completely healthy!

animas
animas

This is my second attempt to respond to your gracious offer.  Thank you.  I am concerned about two matters here: 1) the commenter Dr. William@66 has made several attempts to put forth his points, but has also encountered unusual "static' at the particular site.  I do not know the gentleman-- but I feel that his points warrant  reasonable investigation and response.  It seems obvious from the wide range of commentary here that there is either a much bigger story (criminal negligence) or smaller story (disgruntled employee(s)) than is presented here. 2) I appreciate many of the entries in the Dallas Observer which has achieved a degree of excellence under your guidance-Mr. Tone.  It bothers me that lately there seems to be a trend towards lazy ,fact distorted (diligence omitted?) journalistic efforts by those who could clearly do better work.  Thank you again for giving me this forum to express my opinions.

Pandalou89
Pandalou89

@Tellthetruth he was referring to the sorrel which is a mare, that means a girl or SHE. Apparently you are the slow one.

Tellthetruth
Tellthetruth

"The only difference was that a dozen of the most severely undernourished horses from the day before were gone" 

Are you getting the picture?  Lots of starved horses... not a one horse issue.  He allowed a dozen or more to be starved. 

How do you, walk by that many horses all in the exact starved situation...and not think he has no business with any livestock.  period. 

Tellthetruth
Tellthetruth

@chantzb33 sppt...the horse had an enlarged penis due to complications from being starved...it wasn't a "she".  I know it gets confusing "which" starved horse is being discussed....why didnt the "vet" show the records relating to care of the animal? 

chantzb33
chantzb33

I know exactly what happened. Reading the article slower would only prolong me reading more lies. Get a life! The paint isn't the one pictured is it? And she was seized because employees lied about how long the horse had been there and what care had been givin to it.

Tellthetruth
Tellthetruth

@chantzb33 "the next day, the city of McKinney obtained a warrant to seize the animal. A judge awarded it permanent custody following a hearing"  The paint horse was seized you can check that fact out with Collin Country Court records. You need to read the article again, maybe slower, and that way you have a better understanding of what happened. 

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